Photo by David Bernal/ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
As Landon Donovan moves closer to playing in his fourth World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team star has done plenty of reflecting on how much has changed since he first took the field in the 2002 World Cup.
In a wide-ranging interview with Goal.com, Donovan discussed being ready for a new role with the USMNT, his relationship with Jurgen Klinsmann, and much more.
Among the more intriguing responses from Donovan was about how he and Klinsmann get along:
“I think we’ve developed a really good relationship and I think we’re very honest with each other,” Donovan told Goal USA. “A few weeks ago against Mexico, he was able to communicate in a good way what he saw and what was going on. I don’t think that would happen if you hadn’t built some trust over the years. The important thing for him and I is to continue to communicate and trust each other.
“I’m in a different place than I was years ago,” Donovan said. “I can’t always train the same way, but I do know how to play when it’s time to play. It’s making sure that we see things the same way. (Klinsmann) has been very adamant that if you don’t train well and you’re not playing well, then you’re not going to play. That was understandable for that Mexico game.
“I think we’ve continued to progress in that way and I think we clearly both have the same goal in mind, which is to help this team get as far as possible. Whatever role I can assume to help that, I’m happy to do.”
Give the rest of the Goal.com interview a read, and be sure to check out some excerpts from the Donovan interview after the jump:
On the influx of American stars joining him in MLS, like Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley
I love it, I think it’s great. For a long time I’ve been a big fan of this league and I’ve really enjoyed helping it grow, and to see guys come in and want to help continue that is great. I hope it continues. I absolutely think the way forward for our league is to have the best players playing here. Whether it’s American or otherwise. This is a huge start. You want kids going to games and seeing those guys, as opposed to turning on their TV and seeing them somewhere overseas.
There’s a much greater connection when Johnny in Toronto can go watch a Toronto FC game and walk by and Michael Bradley shakes his hand after the game than just turning on the TV. I think it’s great. I’m glad the league and the teams have made the financial commitment to do that. The league is much more profitable than it’s been in the past and they’re willing to reinvest into the game, and I think that bodes well for everyone.
On whether coaching or TV work might be next for him after he’s done playing
I think both of those would be fun. I think doing TV would be very enjoyable. I think coaching would be much more beneficial to others. I feel like I have a lot of opportunities to do things in life that I’m passionate about, and I’ll be excited when that day comes.
Donovan on facing Ghana in the World Cup again
Ghana is a very good team. They beat a very good Egypt team in their playoff to get to the World Cup. They have very good experienced players all around the field who know how to play in World Cups. They’re certainly a team that could beat us and we’re certainly a team that can beat them. Really, whoever plays better on the day has the better chance of winning.